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The Get Down (Part II): Restoring Faith in Musical Television

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Delving into part two of The Get Down on Netflix was met with a bit of trepidation, I must admit, but the reasoning is all because of my trust issues and bitter break-ups with music related shows on television.

You see, as a self-professed music lover, I had been down this road many times before. A much talked about TV drama surrounding the music industry and adjacent culture has, once again, come to grace our screens despite how many preceding shows have attempted and failed this very pursuit. Maybe I still haven’t gotten over the cancellations of shows like Vinyl and Roadies, stealing my heart with one season only to be cut short with the resounding blow of a network executive’s gavel.

Creators Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Guirgis deserve much credit for having made this show an on-demand exclusive two-part series to begin with. It must have been a wise and calculated decision in order to take viewers on a fast and wild ride without leaving its fate in the hands of a forced finale, or worse yet, a dreaded abrupt cancellation.

Knowing what I was getting myself into definitely made this show much more enjoyable; this was just a fling, a binge-watch romance that would end as quickly as it started, leaving me satisfied with fondness and good memories. Perhaps this creative duo has cracked the code to creating quality musical television that makes an impact without abandoning loyal viewers with nothing but plot holes and eternal emptiness (I swear, I’m not bitter). This is undeniably something future writers should take note of, not that I wouldn’t love a 10 season, decade-spanning show about rock n roll, but I digress…

Part two of The Get Down picks up right where it left off without skipping a beat, all to the familiar and enchanting voice of Nas, the narrator and impeccably smooth lyrical poet. One of the aspects that I really appreciate about the production is their ability to remain period appropriate with 70s hip-hop and disco fashion, décor and ultra funky vehicle interiors. Even the lighting in certain shots really gave the feeling of being present in an era without LED bulbs and 21st century minimalism. The well planned set placed you in the heart of the Bronx with the good, bad and the sometimes ugly aspects of New York City during a time of civil unrest and revolution. While I did notice that some of the dialogue included slang that is more relevant today than almost five decades ago, it gave this period piece a more contemporary vibe so it became less and less distracting as the episodes raged on.

Part one exhaustively helped us piece together the good guys and the bad guys, for the most part, leaving just enough ambiguity to make us second guess trusting certain main characters. The plot was running on all eight cylinders with many avenues that all lead back to our main character, Zeke Figuero, having to paddle through conflict upstream between his musical group, the love of his life and the prospect of Yale on the horizon with all of the familial pressure that comes along with becoming a young adult.

However, in part two, the plot segues were a bit shaky, leaving the hip hop narrative in the backseat to the impending drama of Mr. Cadillac, Fat Annie and Shaolin as well as Mylene and her overbearing father, Pastor Ramon, and did I also mention that Mylene’s mom is having an affair with Papa Fuerte, her husband’s brother, politician, community leader, record executive and, gasp- Mylene’s real father? But wait, there’s more! Actually, there’s a lot more. So much so that one could easily get lost in all of the different paths and plot lines.

Between focus on The Get Down Brothers, Mylene’s career with the Soul Madonnas and the many tribulations she faced with her father and record executives, the show essentially became a shell of itself in the beginning of part two. While I personally enjoyed all of the drama with my tub of popcorn, the show started to feel like a never ending telenovela versus a show that was based around the ins and outs of the music industry and rise of hip hop as we know it today.

While we were distracted by the dramatics happening within each character’s life, the many messages this show may have set out to spread were lost, especially as we approached the final few episodes where the storyline really put the pedal to the metal. Characters metaphorically and literally imploded with sudden self-revelations and life changing decisions very quickly in an almost avalanche-like path of destruction. Did it all happen too fast? For someone who isn’t as invested into the characters, I’d say the timing was just right. For those of us who would have liked to spend more time dissecting the many diabolical relationships involved and the various salacious exchanges between characters that ensued, we could have held on for a couple more episodes, at least.

So, this really begs the question, will there be a part three? They certainly left us with enough mental material at the end of part two to work with, and perhaps that’s why it ended so abruptly, like a truck flooring itself off the edge of a cliff. The writers are surely onto something with this show, and they could potentially take it further. If this series does return, I’d like to see a little bit more of a streamlined plot focus that isn’t so clouded by theatrics. Baz certainly has a signature style (a la Moulin Rouge) which makes for an exciting set that is alluring to the eye, but it would be good to match that intensity with a stronger and more refined story without all of the extra trimmings. With both Mylene and Zeke venturing off onto their own journeys in the final episode, it could cut down on a lot of the extra storylines and eliminate plot holes that were distracting.

Overall, this show exceeded my expectations and was worthy of a binge-watch, thus restoring my faith in shows about music. Although that musical plot wavered a bit, and involved some musical acts that went on for a couple minutes too long, as they all tend to do, the closing credits left us with the inspiring knowledge that soon after the final scene, the epic record “Rapper’s Delight” by Sugarhill Gang was released- an exciting conclusion that left us wanting more while also imagining where this story could go from here.

Written by: Lea Maric

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The HISTORY Channel’s “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” To Make Panel Debut at San Diego Comic-Con

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“The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch,” a hit nonfiction series on the HISTORY Channel, is making its debut at San Diego Comic-Con with an exclusive panel. The panel will feature aerospace engineer, astrophysicist, and lead scientist Dr. Travis Taylor; Defense Intelligence Senior Executive (Retired) Jay Stratton; and others. The series follows current ranch owner Brandon Fugal and an accredited team of scientists, researchers, and experts as they conduct carefully curated scientific experiments, daring drilling and drone exercises, and more to uncover what’s taking place on the anomalous 512-acre hotspot of high strangeness and UAP-related activity. New episodes currently air on Tuesdays at 9/8c, with the two-hour season five finale airing on Tuesday, July 23 at 9/8c.

HISTORY’s “THE SECRET OF SKINWALKER RANCH” PANEL – Thursday, July 25 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Hilton San Diego Bayfront (Indigo Ballroom)

Can You Keep A Secret? Unveiling the Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch – Ever seen a UAP? Or witnessed something strange and unusual that you couldn’t explain? Join the experts from The HISTORY® Channel’s hit series The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, including astrophysicist and lead scientist Dr. Travis Taylor and others, for a dynamic panel discussing the motivations, inclinations and secret findings currently taking place at one of the most infamous UAP and paranormal hotspots to ever exist. The moderator will be Matt Zoller Seitz (New York Magazine/Vulture). Cast subject to change.

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ADULT SWIM TO HOST FOUR-DAY “PIRATE PARRRTY” AT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2024 ALONGSIDE EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEKS, SERIES PANELS AND LAUNCH OF THE “RICK AND MORTY: THE ANIME” ANIME-RICAN TOUR

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Adult Swim, the global leader in adult animation, unveiled plans today for San Diego Comic-Con which includes an ongoing Pirate-themed fan “parrrty” featuring a series of special evening events, exclusive panels diving into key Adult Swim programs, and the kick-off of a cross-country mobile tour to celebrate “Rick and Morty: The Anime.”

“For reasons too long to get into, we at Adult Swim have always used a pirate ship (and, owls, but maybe we’ll do that at a later con) as a metaphor for how we operate,” said Michael Ouweleen, president, Adult Swim. “We thought since we like to think of us, fans and network, as all one thing, that we should bring the pirate ship to the harbor of San Diego this year and let everyone join us on the – erm – poop deck.”

ADULT SWIM PIRATE PARRRTY

Adult Swim will crash onto the shores of San Diego with a shipwreck adventure on the network’s Adult Swim on the Green space outside the San Diego Convention Center (5th Avenue Landing and Convention Way). The “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” will include custom games, exclusive first looks, giveaways, and evening entertainment including DJ laser sets – no badge required!

The space will also host a series of special evening events including:

  • AEW x Adult Swim “Battle for the Booty” Wrestling Tournament – Join a collection of AEW wrestlers who will face off in a tag team tournament against famous Adult Swim faces for a no-holds-barred event as each competitor vies for the chance to win the “Battle for the Booty” title. Thursday (7/25) at 7:30pm
  • Adult Swim’s Night of New – Comic-Con attendees will be the first to experience a collection of brand-new Adult Swim series at this special screening event featuring the full-length premiere episodes of “Common Side Effects,” “Rick and Morty: The Anime,” “Invincible Fight Girl,” and “Women Wearing Shoulder Pads” alongside more never-before-seen Adult Swim content.  The screening will also be livestreamed in real-time on Adult Swim’s YouTube Channel. Don’t miss your chance! Friday (7/26) at 7:30pm
  • Fun with Zach and Michael – Fresh off the finale of the hit series’ second season, join “SMILING FRIENDS” co-creators Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel for a special live-draw and fan Q&A event. Saturday (7/27) at 7:30pm

The first 1,000 attendees to join the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” at 1pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will receive an exclusive giveaway! For more details on the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” visit here.

RICKMOBILE TOUR KICK-OFF

This summer marks the return of the famed Rickmobile and Mortymobile for Adult Swim’s “Anime-rican” tour in support of the new series “Rick and Morty: The Anime,” and San Diego Comic-Con is its first stop! Fans attending the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” will have a chance for a photo-op with the Mortymobile, while the Rickmobile will roam San Diego’s Gaslamp District with special giveaways. After Comic-Con, both the Rickmobile and the Mortymobile will cross the country for a nine-city tour that will conclude in Adult Swim’s hometown of Atlanta.

PANEL EVENTS

The fun continues inside with a series of can’t-miss panels featuring advanced looks, breaking news and insightful discussion from series creators and voice talent:

  • Adult Swim’s “Common Side Effects” Series First Look – Come experience the side effects of an incredible panel discussion about Adult Swim’s highly anticipated new series.  “Common Side Effects.”  From executive producers Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, and creators Joe Bennett and Steve Hely, this comedic thriller follows two former high school lab partners who take on big pharma and government agencies as they try to bring a medicine that cures everything to the whole world. Co-creator Steve Hely and writer/director Sean Buckelew will join the series voice cast including Martha KellyEmily PendergastJoseph Lee Anderson and Dave King to discuss the new series. Friday (7/26) at 11am, Indigo Ballroom
  • Adult Swim’s “Rick And Morty: The Anime” Series First Look – Go further into the multiverse of Rick and Morty with the new series “Rick and Morty: The Anime” as it lands at San Diego Comic-Con.  Writer/director Takashi Sano, producers Joseph Chou and Takenari Maeda, and Adult Swim’s head of action and anime Jason DeMarco will share details about the intergalactic adventure and show you the inner workings of the new series on Adult Swim. Friday (7/26) at 12pm, Indigo Ballroom
  • “My Adventures with Superman” Screening Presentation and Panel – Join executive producers Jake WyattJosie CampbellBrendan Clogher, and voice cast members Jack QuaidAlice LeeIshmel Sahid, and Kiana Madeira as they answer your burning questions from season two. Plus get the early scoop on all the action, comedy, and romance that awaits Clark, Lois, and Jimmy in season three. Airing on Adult Swim, “My Adventures with Superman” is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Saturday (7/27) at 10am, Indigo Ballroom 
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BMI AND WHITE BEAR PR PRESENT“THE CHARACTER OF MUSIC: THE ART OF SCORING FOR ANIMATION” AT COMIC-CON 2024

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BMI® and White Bear PR are excited to present “The Character of Music: The Art of Scoring for Animation,” at Comic-Con 2024. The panelists include BMI composers Sherri Chung, Deana Kiner, Kevin Kiner, Sean Kiner, Joy Ngiaw, along with composers The Newton Brothers and songwriter Alex Seaver. The panel will be moderated by White Bear PR’s Chandler Poling and introduced by BMI’s Director, Film, TV & Visual Media, Louie Stephens.

Step into the mesmerizing world where sound meets artistry at this year’s “The Character of Music: The Art of Scoring for Animation” panel. Discover how composers work hand in hand with animators and directors to weave a seamless tapestry of sound and imagery. The panelists include Deana, Kevin and Sean Kiner (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Star Wars: Rebels), Sherri Chung (Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Based On A True Story), Joy Ngiaw (Blush, Barbie Mysteries), The Newton Brothers (X-MEN ’97), and songwriter Alex Seaver aka MAKO (Arcane: League of Legends). 

WHERE: 
San Diego Convention Center Room 6BCF
111 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101 

WHEN: 
Sunday, July 28, 2024 

TIME:

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. PST

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